Neo-Classicism, Neoclassicism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

The term “Neoclassicism” (derived from “neo”, Greek for new, or revived, and “classicism”, referring to the work of Greek and Latin authors) summarises an aesthetic that draws on ancient models for its guide and inspiration. In English literature it is a term particularly used to describe the writings of the later-seventeenth to the late eighteenth centuries, a period that includes the major achievements of John Dryden (1631-1700) at one end, of Alexander Pope (1688-1744) in the middle and of Samuel Johnson (1709-84) at the other. Although now widely accepted as a shorthand label for the writings of this period, “Neoclassicism” is a retrospective label, not used in English until almost a century after the period ended. The first recorded use of the word in the OED was…

2741 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "Neo-Classicism, Neoclassicism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 April 2005 [, accessed 21 May 2024.]

767 Neo-Classicism, Neoclassicism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.